Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision for the Environmental Impact Statement on the Falls Creek Hydroelectric Project and Land Exchange, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska
The National Park Service (NPS) announces the availability of the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Falls Creek Hydroelectric Project and Land Exchange, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska. This ROD documents the decision by the NPS on behalf of the Secretary of Interior (Secretary) to implement applicable portions of the Glacier Bay National Park Boundary Adjustment Act of 1998 (Pub. L. 105-317) (Act). The Act mandated the Secretary implement specific actions once certain provisions were met. In this ROD the NPS addresses its decision to: Exchange land presently in Glacier Bay National Park (Glacier Bay) to the State of Alaska (state); Add state land to Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park (Klondike Gold Rush); Designate an island in Blue Mouse Cove and Cenotaph Island in Glacier Bay as wilderness; and Adjust national park and wilderness boundaries as necessary to compensate for the land exchange. By addressing these actions the NPS will fulfill the Department of Interior's responsibility under the Act. This ROD follows the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) October 29, 2004 decision to issue a license to Gustavus Electric Company allowing the construction and operation of the Falls Creek Hydroelectric Project (FERC No. 11659). It also follows the FERC Order Denying Rehearing on March 24, 2005 and FERC's June 17, 2005 denial of a request to reconsider the March 24, 2005 Order. This record of decision does not address any of FERC's responsibility under the Act nor does it address any aspect of the licensing process and decision as discussed in the final environmental impact statement (final EIS) and the FERC Order Issuing License and the subsequent rehearing denials. The NPS has decided to adopt the Preferred Alternative as presented in the final EIS. This will result in conveying approximately 1,034 acres in Glacier Bay to the State of Alaska and in exchange receiving approximately 1,040 acres in Klondike Gold Rush. Included is the designation of 1,069 acres in Glacier Bay as wilderness and deletion of 1040 acres of wilderness in Glacier Bay. The National Park and National Wilderness boundaries will be adjusted. The ROD briefly discusses the Act and background of the hydroelectric project and land exchange, summarizes public involvement during the planning process, states the decision and discusses the basis for it, describes other alternatives considered, specifies the environmentally preferable alternative, identifies measures adopted to minimize potential environmental harm, and provides a non-impairment determination.